Memphis City Councilman Chairman Berlin Boyd was visibly frustrated by outbursts from the audience at Tuesday’s meeting when he leveled a common comeback at a rowdy city council meeting attendee, Hunter Demster.
Boyd was listening to public comments regarding a controversial vote to fill a vacant opening on the council.
The audience was displeased to begin with, often voicing their disapproval with agenda items around a vote that has split city council largely along racial lines since the beginning of December.
Toward the end of the nearly four hour meeting, Boyd had some words for Demster.
The exchange was recorded.
Demster, often a vocal critic of the council, can be faintly heard in the audience, hurling insults at Boyd, who had just finished talking about the controversial District 1 appointment.
“You’re an embarrassment and a sh– show,” yelled Demster.
Boyd fired back: “Just like ya mama, how ’bout that.”
Many in the crowd of the council meeting took issue with Boyd’s rejoinder. A collective cry of, “Oooo!” can be heard from the chamber.
Boyd immediately apologized once the reaction in the chamber died down, and said the comment was born of frustration at the “harassment that that individual (Demster) causes on a daily basis.”
“I want to apologize for the comment I made just then,” Boyd said. “I have feelings as well as everyone else.”
Demster’s mother Tish Demster heard about the heated exchange when she read her son’s Facebook post describing the exchange.
Tish told The Commercial Appeal that she just had one question for Boyd.
“I said, ‘I’ve never met that man before,” Tish Demster said, laughing. “Why did he have to go and bring mama into it?”
Tish Demster said that she was “proud” of her son for his continued efforts to “stand up and give a voice the voiceless.”